Christmas is the perfect opportunity to spend time with loved ones and watch a festive movie. My favorite Christmas movie is Chris Columbus’ Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. As someone who loves New York City, watching this movie as a kid made me dream for a holiday in the city. The nostalgia that comes with the movie alone will keep me watching.
The movie is almost a replica of the original film, where Kevin’s (Macaulay Culkin) family forgets him when leaving for Christmas vacation. His parents, played by Catherine O’Hara and John Heard, agonize over finding him, while Kevin explores the world (and has a great time doing it). On his city adventures, he befriends a toy store owner (Eddie Bracken) and a pigeon lady (Brenda Fricker), who will be the key to helping him. With his father’s credit card, Kevin checks into the esteemed Plaza Hotel, where the concierge (Tim Curry) tries to figure out his schemes. Of course, it would not be a Home Alone movie without the “Wet Bandits” (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), who have just escaped from prison and have hatched a plan to rob a toy store on Christmas Eve, the same one owned by Kevin’s new friend. It must be noted that the profit of the store is bound to be donated to a children’s hospital. Kevin must outsmart the crooks, and does so by planting a set of traps to stop the bad guys to save the day and reunite with his family.
With any sequel, everything is elevated, and Kevin’s pranks do not hold back. Kevin, a pre-teen boy, uses kerosene, blowtorches, and many other adult tools to stop two grown felons. A personal favorite is Kevin’s camcorder prank where he records the scene of a gangster-era film to alarm the hotel staff. It has become a classic scene of the film, and contains many memorable quotes my family says to one another.
The movie has references to vaudeville era and cartoon style comedy, where the bad guys get punched, slapped, eye-poked, etc. Audiences can also hear every bone-breaking and electric shock caused by Kevin. The movie has references to vaudeville era and cartoon style comedy, where the bad guys get punched, slapped, eye-poked, etc. Audiences can also hear every bone-breaking and electric shock caused by Kevin. The tricks are quite violent for a children’s movie, but they do not fail in bringing out the laughs. Another element of the movie I loved was the score, composed by John Williams (Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List). It really highlights the beautiful moment where Kevin and his mother reunite. It’s enough to bring you to tears.
This movie is great for any lover of New York, and captures the holiday spirit in everyone. Twenty nine years later, the movie still brings joy to millions of households, including mine. While it is not the “perfect” movie, its predictable nature is enough to keep you watching, and will have you yelling, “Merry Christmas, you filthy animal!”